After Oral Roberts’ furious second-half comeback helped us cash one of two bets on Monday’s college basketball odds board, let’s break down my lone wager for Tuesday’s slate. If you’ve followed my bets in the past, the Providence Friars are unsurprisingly involved.
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Rider Broncs at Providence Friars: Spread, Moneyline, Total
Despite winning the 2022 Big East regular season title, the Friars lost their fair share of critical pieces. Let’s dig in.
Who Must Providence Replace?
Ed Cooley doesn’t return any his starters from last season, including 6-foot-10 big Nate Watson, whose offensive efficiency around the rim ranked in the 91st percentile (via ShotQuality). While they retain point guard Jared Bynum, who tallied his fair share of minutes, cohesion could be an issue for this unit.
The additions of buy-low candidate Noah Locke (Louisville), Devon Carter (South Carolina), Clifton Moore (La Salle) and Bryce Hopkins (Kentucky) are all intriguing, but they’ll likely need additional non-conference games to fully gel.
Cooley’s motion structure is most effective with cutting action, and timing is a big part of that. Unless their core rotation is more up to speed than I anticipate, expect an offense that already wasn’t ultra-efficient to undergo some growing pains — even against a Broncs bunch that struggles with its defensive spacing.
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Rider Is Antithesis of Providence
Unlike the Friars, Kevin Baggett’s crew returns four of its starters from 2021-22. It should have a small crack at winning the MAAC if Iona takes a step back.
The reintroduction of Tyrel Bladen, who tore his ACL in October 2021, adds both a rim protector and sound rebounder overall. If Rider can exploit Providence’s off-ball defense, which has consistently underperformed under Cooley, do-it-all guard Dwight Murray should keep his team within six possessions.
Both teams also operate at a bottom-130 tempo, which favors the double-digit underdog.
Related: Eli’s College Basketball Futures Bets
College Basketball Best Bets Conclusion
As you’ll find in our aforementioned Discord channel, I bet Rider +13.5 this morning. Providence is slightly overvalued in the market after last season’s magical run — even on banner night. Play it down to +13.
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